In the last ten years, land dispute between farmers and pastoralists has increased exponentially.
Photo: TNRF

21.09.2016

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The year 2016 marks 15 years since the new wave land reforms became operational in Tanzania. Despite its ambitious goals – encouraging land registration and titling, and empowering women and other vulnerable groups – the results are disillusioning. A brief overview of 15 years of implementation, using the Village Land Act as a case study.

In 1999, the Land Act, number 4 and the Village Land Act, number 5 were enacted to govern land administration in Tanzania. Both legislations started to be implemented in May 2001. Although numerous efforts have been made by the Government of Tanzania and other actors to implement the Village Land Act, progress has been slow and uneven, and has not moved beyond pilot projects. This brief urges that, given the insecurity that powerful interests are creating regarding the village lands, more needs to be done to increase the pace of implementation.

The Village Land Act in a nutshell

The Village Land Act, number 5 of 1999, refers to governance and administration of village land, which constitutes 70 per cent of the whole land mass of Tanzania Mainland (Gastorn, 2008). Other categories of land include general land (2 %; governed and regulated by Land Act number 4) and reserved land (28 %; governed by different legislations; (Gastorn, 2008).

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